Studies Looking Into The Effect of Vaping on Chronic Respiratory Conditions

A study expected to be published in 2024, will report findings on the respiratory effects of vaping on never smokers.

The study, “Association between e-cigarette use and asthma among US adolescents: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System 2015–2019,” utilized data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System to delve into factors associated with e-cigarette use among US adolescents and its link to asthma. Amongst oyther things, the findings revealed that Hispanic adolescents had lower odds of e-cigarette use compared to White peers in Texas. In the US, male gender, prior combustible and substance use, and depression were associated with higher odds of vaping.

Moreover, e-cigarette use was linked to asthma episodes among adolescents who had never used combustible products, in Texas and across the entire US. After accounting for various factors, the study found a significant association between e-cigarette use and asthma for non-combustible users, concluding that there is an increased risk of asthma in this group.

Study to offer insights on longterm effects of vaping on respiratory symptoms
While an imminent study aims to address the limited knowledge about the health effects of regular vaping, especially the long-term respiratory impacts among individuals who vape but have never smoked. This global cross-sectional survey will assess respiratory symptoms in adults who vape daily and have never smoked (“Vapers Cohort”) in comparison to a control group with no history of vaping, smoking, or tobacco use (“Controls Cohort”).

By conducting a multi-country, internet-based survey, researchers will utilize a validated questionnaire to examine the respiratory health of these cohorts and will collect detailed data on vaping habits. The study expects to enroll 500 individuals in the Vapers Cohort and 250 in the Controls Cohort, with results anticipated in 2024. This research intends to be the first to offer substantial insights into the respiratory health effects specifically associated with using e-cigarettes among individuals who have never smoked traditional cigarettes.

Co-authored by award winning respiratory research expert Dr. Ricardo Polosa, the current study will report its results sometime in 2024. Polosa has conducted extensive work in the area, hence the findings of this study are highly anticipated and will be certainly informing the current status quo and hopefully future health policies.

Professor Polosa, who is the founder of the CoEHAR (Center of Excellence for the acceleration of Harm Reduction) and full professor of Internal Medicine of the University of Catania, has conducted multiple studies looking into the effects of vapes and other nicotine alternatives on Asthma, as well as COPD.

The benefit of switching to vaping for smoking COPD patients
The study “Health outcomes in COPD smokers using heated tobacco products: a 3-year follow-up,” reported positive findings in COPD patients who switched to heated tobacco products (HTPs) as a means to reduce or quit smoking. The research emphasized the well-established connection between smoking and COPD, acknowledging smoking cessation as the primary evidence-based intervention.

Despite this, the study recognized the challenges many smokers face in quitting, particularly those with COPD. For such individuals, substituting traditional cigarettes with combustion-free nicotine delivery alternatives, such as HTPs, was presented as a pragmatic approach. While not risk-free, the study suggested relative benefits, highlighting that emerging clinical evidence indic/         vc /ates that e-cigarette use among COPD patients can help them abstain from long-term smoking, leading to clinically relevant health improvements.

The research found that COPD patients who switched to HTPs or reduced their smoking as a result of using the products, experienced consistent enhancements in respiratory symptoms, exercise tolerance, and overall quality of life over a three-year period. Prof. Polosa underscored the importance of considering these alternatives, noting that while the benefits are not absolute, the scientific evidence suggests that e-cigarettes could contribute to meaningful health gains for COPD patients who struggle to quit smoking.